Students, staff wear skirts to honor teen set on fire in Oakland

Students and staff at a small Bay Area high school donned sarongs and skirts Friday to show support for their classmate whose skirt was set on fire as he slept on an Oakland bus.

Luke “Sasha” Fleischman, 18, was asleep on the bus Monday when another teenager allegedly set his skirt on fire, authorities said. Fleischman suffered major second- and third-degree burns.

“Within the last couple of days, the students got the idea to don skirts in support of Sasha,” said Trevor Cralle, school director at Maybeck High School in Berkeley. “They organized it, so we had many staff and students participate in that as a show of solidarity.”

Cralle said more than three dozen people wore some type of skirt and participated in a group photo that will be given to Fleischman.


A 16-year-old from Oakland High School has been arrested in connection with the attack.

About two years ago, the victim’s mother, Debbie Fleischman, said her son started identifying himself as non-gender, neither male nor female. Sasha Fleischman was politically active on the issue of nonbinary gender.

“He likes to wear a skirt. It’s his statement. That’s how he feels comfortable dressing,” Debbie Fleischman told the Oakland Tribune.



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